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Ebensburg Borough discusses sidewalk project, dog park

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

The Ebensburg Borough Council discussed the 2020 sidewalk project and the proposed dog park location at its Jan. 27 meeting. The council heard from the street committee that Peoples Gas decided to cancel a project to replace gas lines in the northern section of town. Peoples Gas advised the committee that any plan to replace gas lines will be delayed eight or more years. Since the gas project is abandoned, it would be possible to complete both phases of the sidewalk project at the same time. However, the staff’s preference is to do the work in two separate phases over the two years as planned. Borough manager Dan Penatzer said that having the project in two separate phases will minimize inconvenience on the north side of town. This would also negate the need for an interim wearing course of blacktop in the northwest quadrant and keep the project manageable for smaller contractors. The council agreed to complete the project in two separate phases. Penatzer said the staff wants the street committee to review the plans to have everything finalized by the council’s February meeting. The two new council members who joined the street committee, Jeff Ball and Michael Owatt, along with coun-

cil member Cecilia Houser, need to verify the upcoming plans. That way, the board can advertise for bids in early March and have the decision verified by then. Plans were developed for the installation of curb and sidewalk on those streets in two phases. Phase 1 is the northeast quadrant, and Phase 2 is the northwest quadrant. The street committee intends to undertake Phase 1 in 2020 and delay Phase 2 until 2021. Construction is scheduled to start June 1. During April and May, borough crews will complete stormwater improvements SEE SIDEWALK, PAGE 5

February 6, 2020

Dancing the night away

Emily Liebal, Hunter Dumm, Joey Bernard and Lauren Bender are ready for a night of dancing at Bishop Carroll’s Snowflake dance Jan. 25. Photo by Kristin Baudoux.

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Nunez takes the helm of Penn Highlands Community College PAGE 2 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

‘I feel like education is one of the best ways to change lives’

By Kristin Baudoux

of Mainline Newspapers

A new era at Penn Highlands Community College begins this year. Dr. Steven Nunez recently began his position of university president Jan. 6 and has spent the first few weeks of his tenure visiting each of the college’s six campuses, recently stopping at the Ebensburg site Jan. 30. Nunez is the fifth person to serve as president of the college. Nunez previously worked at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois, a college similar in size to Penn Highlands. Though this was the only college he worked at prior to his move to Penn Highlands, he has held numerous roles

there. He spent his first 15 years as an instructor, then transitioned into institutional research. In this role, Nunez also picked up skills in several instrumental departments including marketing, recruitment, community education, customized training and information technology. He eventually rose to the position of vice president of academics and student services. “My career really prepared me for the next step,” he said. Nunez said his work at Sauk Valley, along with strong mentorship, encouraged him to take the next step in his career and apply at Penn Highlands. “I was running toward an opportunity,” Nunez said in regard to the opening at Penn

Highlands. Nunez said he was also attracted to Penn Highlands because it enabled him to work closer to his childhood home in southwestern Virginia, and he expressed his love for the local landscape. “I was always drawn back to the mountains,” Nunez said. While Nunez is still getting accustomed to his position, he said the transition has been going well and has kept busy over the past month meeting with faculty and staff.

“It’s been a very, very warm reception,” he said. Along with visiting each site and analyzing its strengths and challenges, Nunez is working on a new five-year strategic plan to debut by next year. His goal is to meet with as many faculty and staff members as possible for their input about the college and what they would like to see changed. “I want to hear from everyone,” he said. Overall, Nunez said that since his interview, he knew the posi-

tion at Penn Highlands would be the perfect fit for him. “I walked away that day sort of falling in love,” he said. “I knew it was the right fit for me.” Nunez said he is also impressed with what Penn Highlands has to offer the area’s students. “It really serves its community well,” he said. “Our community needs and respects us.” “I feel like education is one of the best ways to change lives,” Nunez said.


MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 3


Firefighter training facility location still undecided PAGE 4 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Allie Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

A conversation about selling property owned by the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority (CCCRA), which includes the Sheesley property and old Dynacom property, brought about a question from Johnstown Fire Department’s assistant chief Jim McCann regarding the firefighter training facility. Both properties are at different points of the Jim Mayer Trail. “I guess the question I would have then is, if you’re looking at selling, I need to find some other place to put this training facility,” said McCann. According to McCann, he has received bids on dismantling and moving the facility from its current location on Iron Street to the former Dynacom property. “If this property is not an option, then I don’t want to put any more time into [it],” McCann stated. “I think it still is an option,” said CCCRA chairman Tom Kakabar. “I think you have the first right.” McCann, who is also a recreation authority board member, said that he has looked at this property “from both sides” and if the CCCRA has the option to sell it and bring industry into the city and “further the trails,” then he “doesn’t want to stand in the way of that happening.” On the other side of the property, McCann said that he doesn’t want to continue to put time

into moving the training facility if it may not happen. He also said that there is an option of putting the facility at the old Sheesley property. McCann added that the work needs to be put into moving the facility to the correct location, not one that could be sold. “There are other properties that we could look at, you know, working with the redevelopment authority,” McCann said. “If the fire school would rather have the Dynacom prop-

erty, I’d rather give it to you,” CCCRA executive director Cliff Kitner stated. “I, personally, this is not as the executive director or as the board, think working with the fire school and the 9/11 Memorial Trail would be a great fit.” Kitner reiterated that he would rather have the fire school there than sell the Dynacom property. According to Kitner, he is open to the fire school utilizing the Sheesley property too. “I want to know what’s going to work best for you, then we

can work through that process,” Kitner said to McCann. “There’s pros and cons to both,” McCann added. McCann explained that the Sheesley property, in his opinion, will work better because it provides access to Horner Street and the river. An issue with the Dynacom property is getting a large fire apparatus into it. At this point, McCann stated

that these authorities need to figure out which property is the best fit for the firefighter training facility so he can focus his efforts on that specific area. He added that it will depend on the site work necessary at both possible properties as well. McCann, the CCCRA and the redevelopment authority will continue to work together to figure out the best place for the training facility.


Sidewalk

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

along West Sample Street and East Sample Street. A two-year bridge loan of $1 million would be obtained for both phases of the project. Interest-only payments would be made from the $160,000 currently being reserved annually, with the balance continuing to be reserved for sidewalks. Near the end of 2021, after the completion of both phases, the balance owed — approximately $800,000 — would be converted to a 10-year loan. The $160,000 currently being reserved annually for sidewalks would be directed toward the debt, retiring the loan in six to seven years. During the meeting, Jim White and Phil Sutton, representing the Ebensburg Rotary Club, discussed plans for the dog park location. The dog park was intended to go on borough-owned property across from the Ghost Town Trail and next to the basketball courts at the YPCC, but

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 5

the area was determined to be too small. The Ebensburg Rotary Club proposed to the borough to put the dog park at the intersection of East Caroline and East Triumph streets. The dog park would be beside the East End playground.

A handful of residents along the immediate streets are opposed to the plan. The residents brought up issues about why they don’t want the dog park there. Some of their concerns include who will pick up after the dogs, barking from dogs and enforcing rules

Hope Fire hosting Steel City Comedy Tour

The Steel City Comedy Tour featuring Chuck Krieger, Mike Wysocki and Andreas O’Rourke followed by DJ Tommy Gunnz will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at Hope Fire Company, 1023 Philadelphia Ave., Northern Cambria. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner served at 6:30 p.m. and showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. There will also be 50/50s and chancing off a basket of cheer. You must be 21 to attend. For tickets contact any Hope firefighter, stop at Charlsons Furniture in Northern Cambria or call Mark 207-8394.

and regulations at the park. The residents explained they would rather see the dog park moved to a more remote location than a residential area. The council told the Rotary Club that they should consider other areas for the dog park.

Council member Theresa Jacoby referred White and Sutton to the recreational board for suggestions and their board director, Dirk Johnson. The Rotary Club intends to attend the recreational board meeting for further plan discussions.

St. Benedict School benefit auction

The eighth annual St. Benedict School Benefit Auction will be held Saturday, Feb. 15, at St. Benedict Church Hall, 100 Main St., Carrolltown. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 5 p.m. Pasta dinner provided by Luigi’s Ristorante, Clymer. Live auction starts at 6:30 p.m. featuring Templeton Auctioneers, Ebensburg. Advanced tickets are $20 per person, admission at the door is $25. Ticket includes pasta buffet dinner, beverages, dessert and one paddle. Only 200 tickets available, for adults only please. For further information or reservations, contact St. Benedict School at 814-344-6512. Proceeds of the evening benefit St. Benedict School.


Bishop Carroll celebrates Catholic Schools Week

PAGE 6 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

Students partake in events

By Austin Feathers

of Mainline Newspapers

Bishop Carroll Catholic High School recently wrapped up its Catholic Schools Week celebrations Jan. 25-31, and each day of the week featured a different theme. On Saturday, Bishop Carroll hosted its annual Snowflake dance. “We start the celebration off with the Snowflake dance to get them ready for the week,� admissions director Jonathan Nagy said. On Monday, the students celebrated their community, and as an incentive, they dressed in their most mismatched, tacky, and uncoordinated clothes and were treated to free hot chocolate and cookies before school. The students also hosted a lunch at RikN-Niks for local first responders. On Tuesday, the school celebrated vocations by attending a mass celebrated by Bishop Mark Bartchak. After mass, Bishop Mark ate lunch with the students. Faculty and staff members were recognized on Wednesday, and, to honor the teachers, the students dressed as their favorite teacher. Or, the students could “twin� with their friends. Throughout the day, the teachers were recognized for all the hard work they put into the school and were treated to a special luncheon. In the evening, the school hosted an open house and financial aid meeting for prospective students. The school celebrated the nation Thursday by dressing in their best red, white, and blue outfit and holding a service project to support the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home. “The students had to bring in $3 or an item from the list we sent out to benefit the veteran’s home,� Nagy said. Students were asked to donate clothing or socks and shoes along with miscellaneous items like postage stamps and Amazon gift cards. Nagy said that the school has raised over $500 for the veterans’ home. Friday was the final day of celebration, which recognized the students. The students enjoyed a lazy day dress theme and a free lunch of pizza, chips and ice cream. The students then spent the second half of the day engaging in an array of fun activities like volleyball and cornhole tournaments as well as video games and movies. Students Mara Yahner and Scotty Semelsberger said that they had two weeks to plan the celebrations. Throughout the week the students were treated to additional surprises like games, prizes and gift card drawings for those who participated in the daily themes.

  

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 7


Local municipalities required to advertise meetings PAGE 8 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Although it seems like a waste of money to some local government officials, there is a reason why boroughs, townships and municipal authorities are required to advertise their meeting times and locations. It is the law so the public can actively participate in their government. For the second time in two months, a Luzerne County agency had to postpone action and schedule re-votes because of a failure to follow the guidelines established by the state’s Open Meetings Law. The law requires government agencies to give public notice of the year’s meeting schedule before the first regular meeting of the calendar or fiscal year. The first notice must provide the dates, times and locations of regular meetings for the next 12 months. The notice must be posted at the governmental office and in a newspaper of general circulation published in the political subdivision. This law was developed to ensure the public has the necessary information and sufficient time to prepare to participate in governmental decisions and was enacted by the state legislature so the public could not be ignored by their own government. The meeting schedule must be “prominently� posted in the local government’s primary office or at the building where the meeting regularly takes place and must be visible to the public. Special meetings or meetings that are rescheduled or held outside of the municipali-

ty’s regular schedule are required to be advertised at least 24 hours in advance through a newspaper advertisement and public posting before the meeting can be convened. Many local residents have failed to take up the opportunity to publicly participate in their borough, township or authority governments. Most meetings have, at best, a handful of local residents who attend the meetings. Many municipal meetings have no public interest unless a controversial topic is on the agenda. A simple question by a citizen in November 2019 forced the Luzerne County Board of Elections to re-ratify all of the votes in the prior 10 months

after it was discovered the meetings were not properly advertised. A legal ruling determined that a remedy of re-ratifying voters was open to the board because the lack of advertising was inadvertent and not willful. In January, the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority was forced to stop mid-meeting because it could not offer proof of advertising to a question raised in the public comment section of the meeting. This lack of proof forced the authority to nullify the votes for the appointment of chairman and vice chairman taken at the meeting prior to the question. The meeting was postponed until February so it could be legally advertised.

‘Kountry’ every Wednesday & Friday BINGO PORTAGE MOOSE HALL

FREE each Fri. & Wed.: (other foods & drinks “Cook’s Choice� Dinner & Coffee available for purchase)

FREE giveaway 3rd Wed. of the month: 200 (Each admission gives you a chance to win.)

LAST JACKPOT 500 IN 55 NUMBERS MYSTERY #’S EVERY WED. & FRI.

DOORS OPEN: 5 PM *Admission: $15 Early Birds: 6:40 *REG. GAMES: 7 PM

For info call: 736-3339 before 4 p.m. or 736-4151 after 4 p.m.

         



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Although many may think this could be just a minor glitch, the bills would be costly to the municipality and its taxpayers

from a legal challenge to an unadvertised meeting. If an SEE REQUIRED, PAGE 10

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 9



           

    



     

             

            

    



                    

 



            

    

            

            

               

    

             

    

     

              

    

        

              

             

    

                     


PAGE 10 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

Internal Revenue Service launches Identity Theft Central The Internal Revenue Service has launched Identity Theft Central, designed to improve online access to information on identity theft and data security protection for taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses. Located on IRS.gov, Identity Theft Central is available 24/7 at irs.gov/identitytheft. It is a resource on how to report identity theft, how taxpayers can protect themselves against phishing, online scams and more. Improving awareness and outreach are hallmarks of initiatives

Required

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

unsuccessful bidder or a citizen affected by a decision challenged official actions or deliberations of a municipality for the failure to advertise a meeting properly, the legal bills, in addition to monetary damages awarded in a lawsuit, could empty the municipal coffers. Some may claim that the advertising requirement is only serving the newspaper’s ownership with advertising dollars. The matter is much bigger than just a few dollars. President Abraham Lincoln coined the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people,� in his Gettysburg Address. The idea

to combat identity theft coordinated by the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry, all working in partnership under the Security Summit banner. Since 2015, the Security Summit partners have made substantial progress in the fight against taxrelated identity theft. But thieves are still constantly looking for ways to steal the identities of individuals, tax professionals and businesses in order to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds. The partnership has taken a number of steps to help educate

of self-government is that an informed public knows when and where it can address issues with the people it put into office. A further step in the governmental transparency is moving forward in the state legislature. A bill requiring agendas for public meetings of local and county governments to be advertised or posted on the agency’s website or “prominently� posted in the local government’s office 24 hours before a meeting has moved out of committee for debate in the full legislature. This would allow interested citizens to know in advance what matters are up for action at these meetings.

         

   

                    

and improve protections for taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses. As part of this effort, the IRS has redesigned the information into a new, streamlined page — Identity Theft Central — to help people get information they need on ID theft, scams and schemes. From this special page, people can get specific information including: • Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, including what to do if someone becomes a victim of identity theft • Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals, including knowing responsibilities under the law • Identity Theft Information for Businesses, including how to recognize the signs of identity theft The page also features videos on key topics that can be used by tax-

payers or partner groups. The new page includes a video message from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, warning signs for phishing email scams – a common tactic used for identity theft – and steps for people to protect their computer and phone. Tax professionals and others may want to bookmark Identity Theft Central and check their spe-

cific guidance periodically for updates. This is part of an ongoing effort by the IRS to share identity theftrelated information with the public. The IRS continues to look for ways to raise awareness and improve education and products related to identity theft for taxpayers and the tax professional community.

          

             

    

 

      


Ebensburg Municipal Authority underbills BVMA

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 11

By Allie Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

The bulk water rate that the Blacklick Valley Municipal Authority (BVMA) pays to Ebensburg Municipal Authority will increase, according to Ebensburg Borough manager

‘I’m here with apologies and I guess embarrassment’

Dan Penatzer. Penatzer attended the Jan. 29 BVMA meeting to more thoroughly explain a letter he penned to them dated Jan. 9. The letter states that Ebensburg received a 10 per-

cent increase in the bulk water rate charged by the Greater Johnstown Water Authority. They received no notice of this increase that took effect Jan. 1, but the BVMA will notice an

increase on the March bill. The letter also states that the water purchase agreement between the two authorities, date June 2004, “first stipulated a rate of $1.80 per 1,000 gallons

with a minimum purchase of 20,000 gallons per day.” According to the letter, the rate from Johnstown has increased SEE UNDERBILLS, PAGE 12


Underbills

PAGE 12 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

several times since then, however the rate charged to the BVMA was “increased accordingly, but only for each 1,000 gallons in excess of 20,000 gallons.” The increase was never applied to the BVMA’s “base rate” for the first 20,000 gallons of water. The rate for the BVMA will increase from $2.48 per 1,000 gallons to $2.73 per 1,000 gallons, effective the JanuaryFebruary billing period. According to Penatzer’s letter, “it is necessary for Ebensburg Municipal Authority to bill BVMA the difference between what was actually billed and what should have been billed.” The difference, which is $17,082, will go back to 2015, when Johnstown first increased its water rate, through 2019. “I’m here with apologies and I guess embarrassment that we did that and we’re looking for some solution,” said Penatzer. BVMA solicitor Bill Barbin explained that when he first received Penatzer’s letter, he “went over the numbers in detail.” “I had some questions at first, but I believe these numbers are accurate,” Barbin said. “We worked through the calculation, the math works, these numbers appear to be correct.” He added that at the time, those rate increases were put into effect, but Ebensburg Borough underbilled the BVMA. “One of the problems I see, if we would have gotten the

increase at the time that it happened, we could have passed it on,” said BVMA board member Desmond Warzel. “I don’t foresee us being able to pass ... increases onto our customers now to recover it.” Penatzer said that he isn’t at the meeting requesting the $17,082 immediately from the authority. He added that this has only

happened once before, and, at the time, Ebensburg allowed the same amount of time to pay the money back as the borough underbilled for. “Essentially, we got five years of errors here ... we understand the hardship that would be on the authority,” said Penatzer. “So, there is some, really a lot of, willingness to do what we need to do to make it work out.”

BVMA chairman Mike Pisarcik questioned if all of the bulk water the BVMA purchases is out of Greater Johnstown and the Saltlick Reservoir. “I don’t think I can say all of it is, the bulk of it surely is,” Penatzer said. “They’re in a mingled system. I can’t technically say, ‘Yeah, it’s all Johnstown water.’” Penatzer added that the only

reason the BVMA pays a lower rate for the bulk purchase is because there is a minimum purchase amount. Pisarcik requested that the board have some time to discuss this matter more in depth before coming to an agreement with Ebensburg. “We will make some kind of response after next meeting,” said Barbin.


DEADLINE: TUESDAY AT 10 A.M. CALL (814) 472-4110 FAX: 472-2275

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

CARROLLTOWN: Beautiful 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with laundry. 120 East Carroll Street. All appliances included. $650. Call 814-3305421.

CRESSON: 2 bedroom townhouses, close to town, Mt. Aloysius & St. Francis. No smoking, no pets. Call Archie at 814-886-2100. Century 21 Strayer & Associates. EBENSBURG: 2 bedroom. Water, heat, sewage, garbage included. No smoking, no pets. Call Kevin 4727707. EBENSBURG: Illig Properties. Apartments and townhomes in Ebensburg and surrounding areas. For availability, call or text 814-626-8830 or visit our website: www.illigproperties.com. EBENSBURG: One bedroom apartment, large bedroom, kitchen with new stove and refrigerator, oak cabinets, living room and bath. Second floor in center of town. Heat, water and sewer, garbage pickup and offstreet parking included. References and security deposit required, no pets or smoking. $475 per month. Call 472-8650. EBENSBURG: Parkview Apartments. Secure building, 1 bedroom, all kitchen appliances, heat (gas), water, and garbage included. Coin operated laundry. Off-street parking. No pets, no smoking. Call 814-472-7798. www.EbensburgParkview.com. EBENSBURG: Spacious 1 bedroom. Rear deck, yard. New vinyl plank flooring. 1st floor. Available March 1. 814-244-0619.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

Thursday, February 6, 2020 • Page 13

LORETTO RD: 1 bedroom, $450. All utilities included except electric. Security deposit. No pets. 814-6155485.

MARKET STREET COMMONS IN JOHNSTOWN: 1- 2 bedroom apartments available. Utilities included. 814-536-6122 for details. Equal Housing Opportunity. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 2 bedroom apartments. Heat, water, garbage, sewage included. 948-8392. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: Available now! Spacious 3 bedroom, 2nd floor on Philadelphia Ave. Close to downtown, washer/dryer hook-up, no smoking/pets. Must have references. $600/month. Includes heat, water, sewage, garbage. One month security deposit required. Lang Real Estate and Tax Service. Call 814-8868111. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: Large 2 bedroom, second floor includes heat, water, sewage, garbage, appliances. Washer/ dryer hookups. No pets. $425/ month. 814-247-8676. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: Nice 2 bedroom apartment on 1st floor. $475 plus electric & water. 1912 Bigler Ave. Laundry hook-ups. Lots of storage. 814-659-1302. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: Spacious 2 bedroom apartment. Water, sewage, garbage, heat included. No pets. $490/ month plus security. 814-6918247.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

PORTAGE: 2nd floor 1 bedroom apartment for rent. Includes: heat, water, sewer, electric stove, refrigerator, garbage and off-street parking. Suitable for 1 or 2 adults. No pets or drugs. Call 472-4341. Leave name and phone number if no answer.

PRINCE GALLITZIN PARK: (Glendale Area). Very nice efficiency apt. furnished/ unfurnished. $425. Manufactured cabin with 1 bedroom and murphy bed. Furnished/ unfurnished, includes water, garbage, cable TV. $450. 687-4247.

COMMERCIAL FOR RENT

OFFICE/ RETAIL SPACE for rent in Ebensburg Mini Mall available. Approximately 1,900 sq. ft. plus approximately 1,200 sq. ft. basement. Call for details 472-4740.

HOUSES FOR RENT

LORETTO: 2 bedroom apartments. $750 per month plus electric. 814214-8384, 616-570-1269.

HOUSES FOR RENT

DUNLO AREA: 3 BR half duplex. All new carpeting, freshly painted. $550 plus security deposit. Trash pickup and sewage included in rent. 814487-7871.

SOUTH FORK: 3 bedroom, half duplex, remodeled. $550 per month. Includes stove and refrigerator. Storage and trash pickup included in rent. 814-487-7871. SOUTH FORK: 3 to 4 bedroom, half duplex. $500 monthly. Sewage and trash pickup included in rent. 814487-7871.

HELP WANTED

CAREGIVERS AGENCY: Background check and TB test required. All shifts. EOE. 814-266-5337.

COALPORT VFW POST 7043 is currently looking for a serve safe certified cook/ kitchen manager and two kitchen helpers. Applications available at 1400 Railroad Street, Coalport PA, 16627. Wage negotiable.

HELP WANTED

DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS for intellectually disabled adults. Competitive hourly wage. Part-time and full-time available. All shifts. 814-410-6197. EOE.

EXPERIENCED MIG WELDERS: Northern Cambria Area. 814-3446202 between the hours of 7 and 3:30. FULL TIME GROUNDSKEEPER and one part time trimmer for work at local cemetery. Must be able to make repairs and service equipment used to mow and trim. Submit resume to GROUNDSKEEPER, P.O. Box 451, Ebensburg, PA. 15931. JUST LIKE HOME PERSONAL CARE: 506 Gallitzin Road, Cresson, is currently seeking applicants for part/ full time first shift and possible second shift. Must be compassionate with elderly. Applicants must pass drug test, and criminal background, have GED or high school diploma. Please apply within at 506 Gallitzin Rd., Cresson, PA 16630. 814-884-0186.

  

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PAGE 14 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

HELP WANTED

MASSAGE THERAPIST: Spa. 724-349-2192.

Woods

PART TIME BARTENDER: Great position for college students. Apply at Amvets Post 150: 910 Main Street, Portage, 15946, or call 814-736-9975 after 2 p.m. for more information. PHARMACY TECHNICIAN/ CLERK WANTED: No certification needed. James Drug Store inside Kenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bilo in Northern Cambria. Call 814-419-7800 or stop by the Pharmacy for an application. SCHOOL BUS & VAN DRIVERS WANTED: Penn Cambria School District. Great job for housewives and retirees. Training provided. Call 8864600. Wilkinson Bus Lines, Inc. WAITRESS & COOK: Beaver St. Cafe, Hastings. Apply within.

SERVICES

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL LAWN CARE: R&S Cleaning. Will cut grass in any town. Fully insured. 814-330-0150.

HARBAUGH ELECTRIC: Quality workmanship at affordable rates. Fully insured. 814-743-6166. MAGICIANS, COMEDIANS, HYPNOTIST, MONTE CARLO NIGHTS available for holiday parties, fundraisers, birthdays, etc.! 814-938-2346

SERVICES

R&S CLEANING: We haul anything! Cleanouts! Houses, apartments, garages, storage bins, $50 to $75. Fully insured. PA contract #080816. 3300150.

SHAFFER TREE SERVICE, LLC: Tree removal, tree/ shrub trimming, stump grinding, fertilizing, landscaping. Free estimates, fully insured. Owner Rick Shaffer 736-4168.

VEHICLES FOR SALE

2002 GMC 1 TON VAN: New Jasper motor and transmission. Inspected. $900. 312-3216.

WANTED

PROPERTY YOU NAME IT WE BUY IT! Want to sell your property? Then give us a call, we will buy your house, apartment building, warehouse, land. 814-979-7426. Classified Ad Rates: $7 for the first 10 words 50¢ for each additional word We accept cash, check, Visa or Mastercard

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Ashville VFW holds town hall on veterans benefits

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - PAGE 15

Cambria County ranked first for processing most claims

By Gina Bianucci

of Mainline Newspapers

The Ashville VFW held a town hall featuring several guests to

help answer veterans’ questions obtaining their benefits Jan. 31 County commissioner Tom Chernisky began the town hall by

explaining that the goal of these forums is to make veterans aware of what benefits are offered to them. He said that it is not a onesize-fits-all situation, and the town halls are informational sessions that allow veterans to know what’s available. According to Chernisky, Cambria County has been ranked first in the state for the last three years for processing the most claims and bringing the most benefits to veterans. He said that during the previous year, Cambria County brought in $10.4 million in benefits over 12 months to help veterans and their spouses and received over 800 applications. The guest speakers at the forum included James E. VanZandt VA Medical Center director Sigrid Andrew, Chief of Stakeholder Relations Shaun Shenk and Cambria County Veteran Services director Zackary Portser. The panel also had several vendors present including state Rep. Frank Burns’ office, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s office, PA CareerLink, the Women’s Memorial and the James E. VanZandt VA Hospital for suicide prevention. Andrew started by thanking the veterans for their service and explaining her background. “As I wandered around the room talking to our nation’s heroes, I always told the staff that we have an honored profession and that we are fortunate to work in a place where we work with people who are heroes disguised as ordinary people,” Andrew said. Andrew explained how the benefits would work for the veterans when it comes to healthcare. She said that all a veteran has to do to receive care is bring their DD214 to the VA and talk to some-

one in health benefits or anyone who works in veteran services. She said that many doors would be open to them, including hers. She also explained how some veterans, such as those who served in Vietnam, may have service-connected ailments, which would mean they would be eligible for free or almost free healthcare. Andrew said that there were changes made in the Mission Act by President Donald Trump that would make services better for veterans, but it comes with some stipulations. For example, veterans are allowed to go to their local emergency room, but they must inform the VA hospital within three days of their visit. Veterans also have to be a regular patient being seen by primary care. She urged veterans to come to the VA hospital to have their annual primary care appointment, where they can have multiple tests done and will be eligible for emergency visits. According to Andrew, the 14county region in Western Pennsylvania leads the nation in video chemotherapy. This means that patients can meet with their oncologist from Pittsburgh over video calls. The specialists are able to look at lab tests and administer medication without physically touching the patient. Shenk then answered about why veterans have to bring all of their income and personal information to the VA. He said that the reason the VA asks for the info is because eligibility is based on eight priority groups. When a veteran goes into the VA health care system, they fall within one of the eight groups, and it might be based on income. The VA also asks about income to make sure the veteran does not have to pay a copay if they currently do so or

have a service-connected disability, where they will never be asked about it again. VA healthcare has no monthly premium, and it can be used as someone’s primary healthcare provider. The VA also accepts those who served in the National Guard and the reserves. Porster said that there are over 10,000 veterans in Cambria and only two full-time workers at the veteran services office. He said that although people may have to wait up to three to five days for a callback, they return everyone’s calls. An audience member asked about other places in the area where veterans can receive help when it comes to homelessness or another financial crisis they may experience. Porster said that other sites in the area include the Dorothy Day Outreach Center and that the Wounded Warrior Project does provide financial assistance for veterans. There were also questions asking about Camp Lejeune and Agent Orange, where those who served in Vietnam may have been exposed to contaminated water or chemicals. Veterans may be able to get health care benefits that they are currently paying out of pocket if they are related to several diseases that were discovered to be associated with the water contamination or chemical exposure. The speakers answered a lot of questions and advised those who attended to either make plans to get veterans benefits or tell others about the benefits. For more information about veterans’ benefits, please visit or call the James E. VanZandt VA Hospital in Altoona or Cambria County Veteran Services in the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg.

Huschak surprised with Charlie Vizzini Award

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

For four years now, state representative Frank Burns has been honoring volunteers across the 72nd legislative district with the Charlie Vizzini Award, named after a volunteer in his local legislative offices, Charlie Vizzini, of Ebensburg. According to Burns, Vizzini has volunteered more than 8,000 hours in his local office, serving the constituents of the district. He developed the award and ceremony in 2016 and presented the award to Vizzini the first year. “The award now continues to be presented to constituents in the 72nd legislative district who, like Vizzini, have volunteered to better the community and exemplify selflessness, following in the steps of our most appreciated volunteer,” explained Burns. At a surprise ceremony held Jan. 30 at the Noon Collins Inn, Ebensburg, Burns presented this year’s award to Irene Huschak. Calling Huschak “a tireless advocate and volunteer for the Portage community,” Burns described how she exemplifies the meaning behind the award. “Through this award, we’re trying to recognize someone in the district who has volunteered to make the community a better place,” Burns said. “Clearly, Irene [Huschak] fits that bill and is a great example of community volunteerism.” The award and ceremony were a surprise to Huschak. Nominated by her family, she was lured to the Noon Collins Inn under the guise of an evening out. The surprise showed on Huschak’s face as she walked into the banquet room to the applause of more than 50 family and friends. Huschak is an ever-present figure in Portage, serving as president of the Portage Area Historical Society. She has organized fundrais-

ers for the Portage Station Museum, regularly interviews residents for the historical society newsletter and collects oral histories and photographs to further the preservation of the history of the Portage area. Huschak reaches out to Portage Area School District students as a guest speaker about local history, and the fifth-grade class tours the museum every year. Recently, she was the driving force in securing some of the original 1912 “Patton Pavers” used to pave the streets of Portage. Additionally, she was able to convince the Portage Borough Council to preserve the original brick-paved street in front of the Station Museum. Using the pavers removed for a water line repair project at the top of Lee Street near the museum, Huschak encouraged local resident and businesses to purchase a brick as a fundraiser for the museum. Then, with the cooperation of Admiral Peary Vo-Tech students, Huschak had the pavers laser-etched with the names of past Portage businesses. Huschak then was able to secure a local contractor to install the etched bricks as a terrace on the side of the museum. The media coverage of the award ceremony led to another big surprise for Huschak. Because of her community involvement, she developed a program to provide season and daily pool passes to Portage Area students in need, as a way to help the children in the area and to support Crichton-McCormick Park. Last year, the program helped more than 100 children obtain pool passes. The day after the ceremony, representatives of a local organization showed up at Huschak’s Friday morning with a $500 donation to the museum and a significant donation to provide pool passes for children this year.


PAGE 16 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - MAINLINE EXTRA

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